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Hello from our 2017 Governing Body!

Chair of Governors Gemma Berry


My name is Gemma Berry and I am the new Chair of Governors. I became a Governor in May 2016 because I wanted to understand how the school works and to try and help out in any I can. I have two children Charlotte who is 7 and Evan who is 3. So will have one of them in school for a good number of years to come. 

I really enjoy being a governor and working with the other brilliant governors and teachers to make the school so good. I really love the time I get to go into class and see the children at work. It such a lovely atmosphere in school. 

In my free time, I like to read, go for walks and occasionally bake.


Our Vice Chair of Governors Neil Croft


Our Staff Governor, Helen Campbell

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I was born in Nottinghamshire and went on study at The University of Reading to train to be a teacher. I moved to Yorkshire in 2007 where I worked at an Infant and Nursery School in Dewsbury before accepting a post at Kirkburton First School in 2015. 


I have lived in Highburton since 2009 with my husband and two young children, Jack and Albie, and although lots of my spare time is taken up with my children's activities I enjoy family days out, music and socialising with friends. 


Due to the recent retirement of Mrs Kitson the position of staff governor became available on the Governing Body. I thought that this would be a good opportunity for me to get involved and support the school in another capacity.

Sue Taylor


I have worked in education, teaching and lecturing all my professional life. I took time out when my two children were small and enjoyed spending time with them. I equally enjoy spending time with the children at Kirkburton school and watching them grow and learn.

My hobbies are cooking, gardening and a range of crafts as well as taking in the beautiful Yorkshire scenery through walking,generally with my husband as he has the sense of direction I lack.

I have been a Foundation governor for about 7 years. I enjoy working with the staff and children at Kirkburton first school because everyone is so enthusiastic. It is good to feel a part of such a caring family, and I also enjoy using my experience to support the children's learning, and to try to ensure that the school run's well. 

I have lived in Kirkburton for 25 years now, and think it is a great community in which to live. I don't seem to have much spare time since I also help with the Church4All and have recently started volunteering at the library to try and keep it open. Still, I do prefer to be busy. I have realised what I don't like is to have my photograph taken, so this one of me taking part in a school visit will have to suffice. It did make use of one of my interests, sewing as I made the skirt apron and mop cap.

Richard Lewis


I was born and brought up in Huddersfield and have lived in Kirkburton for over 20 years.  I am a Chartered Civil Engineer currently working for a major building and civil engineering contractor as a Regional Health and Safety Advisor.  I have been a member of the Army Reserves since I was 18, serving with the Royal Engineers, however age and work pressures are catching up with me and I have found myself spending far more time with my family than with the army!   
I'm the new boy on the governing body, only having joined in October 2015.
My two children love going to Kirkburton First School, they get a lot out of it.  I thought it was about time that I gave something back, and as my wife is already on the PTA, becoming a Governor was the obvious choice.  I have friends who are Governors at other schools and they seemed to enjoy it, so that sealed it for me. 
I sit on the Finance and Premises committee which suits my particular skill set. 
Visiting the school and seeing all the work that goes into teaching the children and having an input into the direction the school is going is thoroughly rewarding.  However, the best thing about being a Governor is doing the school visits and seeing the children learn.  That is a privilege that I never expected, and the best part of the job. 

Paula Gray


I have lived in Kirkburton for almost five years and my two daughters are at Kirkburton First School and they really enjoy it. I work in training and drama and I also teach youth theatre classes at the Lawrence Batley Theatre in Huddersfield. In my spare time I enjoy running and creative writing.

I am quite new to the governing body- I became a governor in September 2014.

I wanted to get involved and help in some way at school and I have friends and family who are school governors. They told me how rewarding they found governing so I decided to become a governor.

Toni Abbott


I have lived in Kirkburton for 23 years and am interested in horseriding, cooking, spending time with my family and going out with friends

I have been a Governor since May 2016

I am interested in the school and helping to achieve positive outcomes for local families. The school ethos is inclusive and my role as a Governor means I can give time and experience to assist with the running of the school, which benefits the children.

I am responsible for children in Local Authority Care.

I like being part of the school community, supporting the staff and seeing everyone working together to ensure Kirkburton First School is an excellent learning environment

Rachel Straughan

Rachel is the newest member of our Governing Body and joined us in November 2017. Welcome Rachel!

Jean Selbie


I have been a member of the Governing Body for several years, and love being part of our schools caring and inclusive community. I am a foundation governor, and am active member of our local church, All Hallows. I very much value and support the Chrisitan ethos of our school, and the many links  our school has with church and our local community. In my working life I worked in child protection and health visiting. I am the Governor with responsibility for safeguarding and child protection, at our school.Being part of our school community is a real privelege, and great fun!

Amanda Grant


I have been part of the Governing Body at Kirkburton First School for the past year, since becoming the Priest in charge of All Hallows Kirkburton , and Emmanuel Church, Shelley. I am a regular visitor to school, and love working with the children and their teachers to support and foster the Christian ethos in our school community.

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